Authorities in Louisiana have issued orders to extend current statewide restrictions through at least Feb. 10 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measures keep the state under a modified Phase 2 of its economic recovery plan. Additionally, state officials strongly encourage all public and private companies to have as many employees as possible working from home.
Under the current guidelines, individuals are urged to avoid social gatherings with people from outside their household. Indoor gatherings at event centers are limited to 25-percent capacity or a maximum of 75 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 25-percent capacity or up to 150 people. Some entertainment businesses, such as amusement or water parks, arcades, fairs and festivals, indoor playgrounds, and concert halls, must remain closed unless they submit a proposal to the State Fire Marshall; if approved, they can operate at a maximum of 25-percent capacity. Additionally:
Bars cannot offer indoor services, unless they are located at a parish with less than five-percent positivity test rate for COVID-19 for two consecutive weeks. Bars may offer outdoor services statewide but must limit capacity to 25 percent or a maximum of 50 customers, must close daily 2300-0800, and must ensure all customers are seated at a table.
Restaurants may offer indoor services at 50-percent capacity, ensure all customers are seated, and tables placed at a safe distance; the sale of alcohol for in-person consumption must cease 2300-0800.
Personal care businesses, shopping malls, and retail stores, gyms and fitness centers, casinos, racetracks, and movie theaters can operate at 50-percent capacity.
Places of worship may open at 75-percent capacity or higher if attendants can maintain at least 1.8 meters (six feet) from each other.
Sporting events can allow up to 25-percent capacity.
Individuals over the age of seven must wear a facemask statewide whenever they are inside a commercial establishment or building open to the public, including public transport.
All businesses are encouraged to allow their employees to work from home whenever possible. Essential businesses and services, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, healthcare facilities, and energy, transport, security, and telecommunications companies, have not been subject to disease-related closures. Employers are required to enforce social distancing and enhance sanitation procedures.
Authorities in the city of New Orleans have imposed additional restrictions to the ones in place statewide. Masks are required when around anyone from outside a person's household, and most businesses can operate at no more than 25-percent capacity, including restaurants, retail stores and malls, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment centers, and houses of worship.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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